Administration

select name to see bio

Carl Maas

Center Director

Contact
Benson 101
(803) 777-4043
CDMAAS@mailbox.sc.edu

Carl brings over twenty-five years’ experience working with public, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations in the United States, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, South Korea, and elsewhere. His substantive focus has been primarily on child welfare research, specifically, understanding how to prevent family violence. Carl has been involved in longitudinal research looking at intergenerational cycles of family violence; helped create access platforms to provide social services to non-English speaking communities; developed data collection systems and managed data sets to capture program and organizational performance; and developed strategic funding portfolios to support long-term, sustainable health and education programming. Carl has a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington through an NIMH Prevention Science Fellowship. He was a Returned Peace Corps Fellow while obtaining a dual MSW/MPHA degree from the University of South Carolina.

Brenda Amedee

Quality Assurance Senior Manager

Contact
Huger 115
(803) 777-8379
AMEDEE@mailbox.sc.edu

Brenda manages the Quality Assurance Staff at the Center for Child and Family Studies. They are responsible for conducting the Quality Assurance Reviews for the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The reviews consist of three components annual, supplemental and strategic. The team reviews cases to determine how children and families are assessed and/or provided services to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of families in South Carolina. Brenda has over twenty-five years of experience in the social work field, which includes economic services, children protective services, foster care and interstate compact. She has also conducted training and developed curricula. Brenda completed her master’s degree in Social Work and her bachelor of arts in Journalism at the University of South Carolina. She is a licensed social worker. Brenda says, “It is always my desire to motivate others with my dedication and hard work as well as challenge all of us to be our best.”

Cynthia Flynn

Research Coordinator

Contact
Benson 101
(803) 777-1378
(803) 404-1198
CYNTHIAF@mailbox.sc.edu

Cynthia Flynn recently retired from full-time work at the Center for Child and Family Studies. She currently works part-time at the Center as the Research Coordinator guiding the research team in its contractual work and in seeking new opportunities for research and evaluation studies. Cynthia is an enthusiastic advocate of community-derived research—seeking research questions from our community partners to provide answers that can be immediately applied to practice and policy. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Cynthia earned a PhD in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has forty-five years of experience working in human service and education programs. Cynthia has conducted research studies in the child welfare field including adoption, education of foster youth, and foster youth placement and has conducted numerous program evaluations in a variety of contexts.

Lenora Reese

Leadership & Talent Development Senior Manager

Contact
Benson 129E
(803) 777-0885
REESELB@mailbox.sc.edu

Lenora Bush Reese is the Senior Manager for Training and Leadership Development. In that role, she provides strategic management support to the CCFS training teams by ensuring the tools and techniques used in the training program are aligned with industry best practice standards, produce measurable outcomes, and meet the needs of the workforce. She and her team work with community partners to analyze workforce training needs, determine the format for delivery, execute delivery, and assess effectiveness. She and her team use a variety of methods to deliver high quality classroom learning experiences, interactive on-line learning, conferences, and workshops.

Lenora graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Columbia College. She possesses a broad array of professional and volunteer leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. Her leadership values are rooted in community organizing principles. Those values acknowledge the leadership potential in every person; the power and responsibility every person has to exact change; and the importance of leading through connections. She employs these values daily in her work developing new leaders.

Beck Sullivan

Instructional Design & Production Senior Manager

Contact
Benson 219A
(803) 777-1321
BECKS@mailbox.sc.edu

As the manager of the Center’s Instructional Design and Production team, Beck leads the work of a talented group of development and production professionals. This team creates interactive online training and produces print, video, web, multimedia, and instructor-led training materials. The team also oversees the Center’s learning management system and supports the Center’s information technology.

Beck and her teams have won more than 50 awards in various national and regional competitions, such as the Telly Awards, Worldfest Houston, and the National Council on Family Relations. She is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based learning science and high-end production values in the instructional design, development, and production of training aimed at improving performance.

Mirroring the Center’s positive feedback loop, the Instructional Design and Production team has embedded a practice of ongoing self-evaluation and professional improvement. This ethic allows the team to stay current and anticipate future trends.

Beck’s career includes nine years in public radio and commercial television news where she won awards for her work on documentaries and series. She has been recognized in particular for her success in bringing the voices of real people—children, victims, caseworkers, law officers—to training media. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and her MMA from the University of South Carolina.

“All our work is directed at supporting the professionals who assist our most vulnerable children and adults,” says Beck. “I believe when we’re invested and do our best, it’s a way to acknowledge and respect their work.”

Gwendolyn Hougham

Fax One

Benson 1st Floor
(803) 576-6136

Fax Two

Benson 1st Floor
(803) 777-9409

Research & Evaluation

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Amber Baughman

Research Associate for the South Carolina National Youth in Transition Database (SC NYTD)

Contact
Benson 106
(803) 777-8379
AVBAUGH1@mailbox.sc.edu

The National Youth in Transition Database collects information on youth in foster care as they transition to their adult lives. The South Carolina team surveys youth about personal demographics, their experiences in accessing available services, and personal or anticipated outcomes. Amber’s primary role in this team involves maintaining contact with youth and participating in data collection, analysis, and training.

Amber holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University, and an Ed.S. in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina. She has been a high school counselor, a site supervisor for programs providing academic and emotional support to at-risk youth, and an Assistant Professor. She has publications in the area of leadership and diversity in school counseling and has supervised school counseling students in a variety of high needs settings.

Amber believes in the capacity of every child to transition to a successful adulthood, and believes that quality data collection, analysis, and the transformation of research into practice is vital to encouraging every child to reach their full potential.

Cynthia Flynn

Research Coordinator

Contact
Benson 101
(803) 777-1378
(803) 404-1198
CYNTHIAF@mailbox.sc.edu

Cynthia Flynn recently retired from full-time work at the Center for Child and Family Studies. She currently works part-time at the Center as the Research Coordinator guiding the research team in its contractual work and in seeking new opportunities for research and evaluation studies. Cynthia is an enthusiastic advocate of community-derived research—seeking research questions from our community partners to provide answers that can be immediately applied to practice and policy.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Cynthia earned a PhD in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has forty-five years of experience working in human service and education programs. Cynthia has conducted research studies in the child welfare field including adoption, education of foster youth, and foster youth placement and has conducted numerous program evaluations in a variety of contexts.

Nelis Soto-Ramirez

Senior Research Associate

Contact
Benson 114
(803) 777-9517
SOTORAMI@mailbox.sc.edu

Dr. Soto-Ramírez assists the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) with the analysis of economic services and human services data, and supports federal and state funded research and evaluations of social services programs. Working alongside a team of other researchers, she collaborates with internal and external customers to effectively carry out evaluations of social services programs.

Dr. Soto-Ramírez has extensive experience performing data analyses using descriptive statistics and statistical modeling. She is a skilled epidemiologist with a track record of working well in a team of specialists. Dr. Soto-Ramírez has experience in the development, planning, testing, and validation of public health studies. She received master degrees in Microbiology and Public Health from the University of Puerto Rico and Ponce School of Medicine, respectively. She earned a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of South Carolina. She has extensive knowledge in epidemiological methods, research design, sampling methodology, and quantitative and qualitative data analyses.

Dr. Nelís Soto-Ramírez is committed to collaborate with organizations that serve children, families, and vulnerable adults. Her interest is to improve and strengthen their programs. As a team member of the Center for Child and Family Studies, Dr. Soto-Ramirez seeks to enhance the quality of the services offered to vulnerable populations.

Quality Assurance

select name to see bio

Brenda Amedee, LMSW

Senior Program Manager of Quality Assurance

Contact
Huger 115
(803) 777-9411
AMEDEE@mailbox.sc.edu

Brenda manages the Quality Assurance Staff at the Center for Child and Family Studies. They are responsible for conducting the Quality Assurance Reviews for the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The reviews consist of three components annual, supplemental and strategic. The team reviews cases to determine how children and families are assessed and/or provided services to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of families in South Carolina.

Brenda has over twenty-five years of experience in the social work field, which includes economic services, children protective services, foster care and interstate compact. She has also conducted training and developed curricula.

Brenda completed her master’s degree in Social Work and her bachelor of arts in Journalism at the University of South Carolina. She is a licensed social worker.

Brenda says, “It is always my desire to motivate others with my dedication and hard work as well as challenge all of us to be our best.”

Carol Brown, BSW

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 124
(803) 777-6562
BROWNC73@mailbox.sc.edu

Carol Brown participates in Quality Assurance reviews for the Department of Social Services where she is partnered with staff to review child welfare cases to ensure compliance with State and Federal guidelines.

She began her career at the Aiken County Department of Social Services where she case managed Foster Care, Treatment and investigations. She became a supervisor in 2000 where she supervised the program areas of Foster Care, In-home Treatment, licensing and assessments.

Carol strives to be a positive influence in the lives of those that she encounters by providing quality reviews and discussion with county staff to ensure safety, permanency and wellbeing are being achieved and children are foremost protected.

Darlene Jones-Jack, MA

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 119
(803) 777-9868
JONES58@mailbox.sc.edu

As a Quality Assurance Reviewer at the Center for Child and Family Studies. Darlene Jones-Jack conducts quality assurance reviews for the SC Department of Social Services Child Welfare cases to determine how families were assessed for services and the services that were provided to the families.

The Center for Child and Family Studies Quality Assurance Department has a partnership with the Department of Social Serves to determine how children and families were assessed and provides services to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of families in South Carolina.

Darlene has worked at the Center for Child and Family Studies for two years. Her first position was as a graduate assistant for the National Youth in Transition Database. She worked at Richland County Department of Social Services for three years and she also worked as an Academic Mentor for the University of South Carolina Athletic Program for three years. Darlene received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and she received her master’s degree from the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina.

Darlene’s mission in life is to help others meet their full potential in life.

Miriam Lovett

Quality Assurance Co-Lead, Internal/External Reviewer

Contact
Huger 129
(803) 777-6509
LOVETTMA@mailbox.sc.edu

Miriam Lovett serves as a Quality Assurance reviewer of Foster Care and Family Preservation cases for the Department of Social Services. In addition, she also serves in a Lead or Co-Lead role on a rotating schedule. We are partner-based and evaluate the delivery and quality of the services being offered and provided to the children and families of SC. Also, we conduct case-related interviews with the caseworkers, children and/or family members that are identified in the case.

Miriam has a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College with a double major in Psychology/Social Work. In the 25 years following graduation, she worked in the field with adults with developmental disabilities as well as mental illness in day programs, residential and managerial capacities. During this time, she was also a DHEC surveyor in the ICF/MR facilities in SC and was the Quality Improvement Director at Crafts Farrow State Hospital ICF/MR. Lastly, prior to coming to USC, she was the residential director for a private, contracted provider for DDSN.

Miriam’s mission with USC at the Center for Child/Family Studies is to further enhance the quality of lives for the children and families of SC and as a result, improving their well-being and daily ways of life.

JeSean Mack

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 125
(803) 777-8484
JESEANM@mailbox.sc.edu

JeSean Mack, MSW, LMSW has conducted quality assurance reviews of SC Department of Social Services’ (SC DSS) casework practices since joining the Center for Child and Family Studies in 2014. Various cases that she’s reviewed include family preservation, foster care, foster home licensing, out-of-home abuse & neglect, and community-based prevention. Ms. Mack also participates on the QA Competency Team, which is a group of quality assurance staff who develop skills tests and measure competencies for new QA hires and ongoing QA staff. Most recently, Ms. Mack has taken on an additional role as a QA Lead. As a QA Lead, Ms. Mack prepares SC DSS county staff for the quality assurance reviews and helps coordinate the review process. Along with a QA Lead partner, Ms. Mack provides support to SC DSS county and QA staff as well as travels to SC DSS county offices throughout the state.

Ms. Mack graduated from Wingate University (Psychology, B.A. 2003) and the University of South Carolina-Columbia (Social Work, MSW 2012). During her college years, Ms. Mack engaged in internships with Union County Child Protective Services in North Carolina, a non-profit adoption recruitment agency in South Carolina, and Palmetto Health Richland. Ms. Mack has also worked for the University of South Carolina’s Undergraduate Admissions Office (2003-2008) and Counseling Center (2008-2010). Prior to joining the Center for Child & Family Studies, Ms. Mack was an acute care case manager with Palmetto Health Richland.

Ms. Mack believes that adequately researching DSS’ cases will improve quality casework practice performance, which will ultimately enhance the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in South Carolina.

Margaret Marter

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 117
(803) 777-8885
MMARTER@mailbox.sc.edu

Margaret currently serves as a Quality Assurance Reviewer. She has also previously served in Quality Assurance Co-Lead and Lead capacities, where she works in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services to conduct reviews of child welfare cases. The focus of Quality Assurance is to ensure services rendered to children and families are of sufficient intensity, scope, and quality to meet their individual needs.

Margaret has served the Center in various administrative and program coordinator capacities since 1993. She provided extensive logistical and project management for the Training and Information Design Divisions during her tenure.

Margaret received her bachelor’s degree in English/Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and has completed significant post-graduate coursework towards a master of education degree in higher education administration.

The Center’s work fulfills Margaret’s personal mission of meaningful contribution towards positive outcomes for children and families.

Kellena Nelson

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 141
(803) 777-8895
NELSON72@mailbox.sc.edu

As a Quality Assurance reviewer, Kellena analyzes DSS cases to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements with a focus on outcomes related to safety, permanency and well-being for DSS counties. In those cases, she identifies strengths and areas needing improvement.

Kellena’s team is a mixture of child welfare, mental health and educational professionals. Everyone has their own unique experiences relating to child welfare and brings something special to the table. We all take pride in our roles as a QA Reviewers and are always trying to obtain perfection in all we do.

Kellena has worked in Child Welfare since October of 1993 with the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut. She has worked as a social worker in adoptions, investigations, foster home licensing, supervisor & QA reviewer. She briefly worked with Richland County DSS.

Tedrea Wilson, MA, LPC-I

Quality Assurance Reviewer

Contact
Huger 135
(803) 777-8492
WILSO863@mailbox.sc.edu

As a Quality Assurance Reviewer, Tedrea conducts quality reviews of child welfare cases. The Quality Assurance team work in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services to ensure all services rendered to children and families are of sufficient intensity, scope, and quality.

Tedrea has worked in the South Carolina child welfare system for over nine years, and she has experience in program management, child protective services, therapeutic foster care, individual and group psychotherapy, and program monitoring and compliance.

She earned her BA in Psychology from Winthrop University, a MA in Counseling and a MA Human Resource Development from Webster University.

Tedrea’s mission can best be summed up in a quote by Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Fax

Huger St
(803) 777-1366

Lead Room

Huger 142
(803) 777-1388
(803) 777-1390

Instructional Design & Production

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Beck Sullivan

Senior Program Manager, Curriculum & Information Design

Contact
Benson 219A
(803) 777-0400
BECKS@mailbox.sc.edu

As the manager of the Center’s Instructional Design and Production team, Beck leads the work of a talented group of development and production professionals. This team creates interactive online training and produces print, video, web, multimedia, and instructor-led training materials. The team also oversees the Center’s learning management system and supports the Center’s information technology.

Beck and her teams have won more than 50 awards in various national and regional competitions, such as the Telly Awards, Worldfest Houston, and the National Council on Family Relations. She is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based learning science and high-end production values in the instructional design, development, and production of training aimed at improving performance.

Mirroring the Center’s positive feedback loop, the Instructional Design and Production team has embedded a practice of ongoing self-evaluation and professional improvement. This ethic allows the team to stay current and anticipate future trends.

Beck’s career includes nine years in public radio and commercial television news where she won awards for her work on documentaries and series. She has been recognized in particular for her success in bringing the voices of real people—children, victims, caseworkers, law officers—to training media. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and her MMA from the University of South Carolina.

“All our work is directed at supporting the professionals who assist our most vulnerable children and adults,” says Beck. “I believe when we’re invested and do our best, it’s a way to acknowledge and respect their work.”

Jennifer Webb

Program Manager, Media Production

Contact
Benson 217
(803) 777-8003
JWEBB@mailbox.sc.edu

As Program Manager of the Media Production Team, Jennifer Webb uses project management skills to plan, organize, and implement media projects, from print materials to video production to online learning experiences. She draws upon eight years of experience as the Program Manager of the Instructional Design Team, where she supervised the design and development of learning experiences that meet the needs of the target audience. Jennifer has conducted needs assessments, developed competencies, and designed competency-based training for both face-to-face and online delivery in her time at the Center. She has also been involved in program design, development, and support. She has written curricula in the areas of victim services, child protective services, foster care, adoptions, economic services, adult protective services, and end-of-life care. Jennifer is a certified Project Management Professional. She completed her master’s degree in English at the University of South Carolina and her bachelor’s degree at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Ginger Cassell

Multimedia Designer

Contact
Benson 220
(803) 777-5963
CASSELLV@mailbox.sc.edu

Ginger works with the Center team to plan and develop multimedia projects. She coordinates experts from many fields and many media to a unified vision and to fulfill clearly defined needs of the learners.

Ginger’s experience includes: broadcast producing, editing the national show “Good Eats” for the Food Network, graphic design, motion graphics, photography and programming of interactive projects.

Ginger is an alumna of the University of South Carolina, with a B.A. in Media Arts.

Ginger hopes to bring a meaningful experience to this collaborative endeavor that involves the learner to share in the decisions for the final experience.

Ryan Holcombe

Graphics Manager

Contact
Benson 220
(803) 777-4927
RYANKH@email.sc.edu

Ryan plans and develops graphics for print, multimedia, and the web. He collaborates with the CCFS staff and external partners in planning and development of multimedia graphics. He assists the Instructional Design and Production team with video production and photography.

Ryan is an alumnus of the University of South Carolina, having earned his B.A. in Film and Media Studies. He is also an alumnus of Tri-County Technical College, having earned is A.A. in Media Arts.

Ryan hopes to develop the visual elements of multimedia projects so that they may effectively communicate and appeal to their audience.

Chris Koslowski

Instructional Designer

Contact
Benson 218B
(803) 777-0413
KOSLOWSC@mailbox.sc.edu

With the Instructional Design and Production Team, Chris develops, writes, and revises training materials for the Center’s partners.

Chris earned a BA in English from the University of Michigan, an MA in English from the University of Cincinnati, and an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of South Carolina. For seven years before joining the staff at the Center, Chris taught university courses in rhetoric and composition, American literature, and digital humanities.

Chris is thrilled to contribute to the Center’s mission by developing curricula to support his community’s public servants and the vulnerable individuals they assist.

Yvette Sapp

Economic Services Trainer

Contact
SAPPY@mailbox.sc.edu

Yvette Sapp became a member of the Instructional Design and Production team in October 2020. In this role, she writes, develops, and revises training material for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Prior to joining IDP, Yvette was part of the Center’s Economic Services Training team, where she provided training for the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) Economic Services Division.

Yvette earned a BA from the College of New Rochelle and an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from the University of South Carolina. She has over 30 years’ experience in Social Services. Prior to joining the Center in May 2015, she worked for SCDSS Economic Services in various capacities, including Case Management, Supervisor, and a Program Coordinator in the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) policy area.

Yvette’s goal is to create a stimulating learning process that will produce a learning environment that will generate trainee engagement.

Kimberly Searcy

Child Welfare Trainer

Contact
Benson 123
(803) 777-9410
JOWERSKE@mailbox.sc.edu

Kimberly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with more than twenty years of successfully leading efforts that empower, promote, and facilitate the building of healthy people and communities. As a trainer at CCFS, Kimberly is a part of the Child Welfare Training Team that provides ongoing professional development to frontline practitioners and supervisory staff at South Carolina Department of Social Services. She is also a part of the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers.

As a nationally certified trainer, Kimberly speaks to audiences nationwide on the impact of generational poverty and providing resources that are a catalyst for change. Kimberly is author of “The Maintenance Plan: Avoiding a Breakdown before Reaching Your Destiny” and several curricula designed to empower readers and participants to remove the barriers that keep them from living their best possible life.

Kimberly’s personal mission is to equip individuals with the tools necessary to achieve self-actualization and purpose.

Brantley Williams

IT Services Manager

Contact
Benson 134
(803) 777-9701
(803) 667-8389
WILLIABE@mailbox.sc.edu

Brantley manages all of the computers, desktops, projectors, and smart boards the Center employs daily. He manages and maintains all multimedia resources at the Children’s Center for the Training Division staff. He also provides hardware assistance for the Department of Social Services’ computers in use at the Center.

Brantley is a part of the Information Design team which designs and produces multimedia products, manages online development, and creates graphic design for the Center and its partners. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina in Integrated Information Technology.

Brantley’s mission at the Center is to maintain the Center’s technology so that staff can work as efficiently as possible.

Leadership and Talent Development

select name to see bio

Carla Brown

Training and Development Director

Contact
Benson 137
(803) 777-4919
BROWN276@mailbox.sc.edu

Carla Brown provides child welfare training at the Center for Child and Family Studies at the University of South Carolina. She has over 20 years of experience in human services and education. She utilizes skills learned throughout her career to provide advanced training and professional development to staff at the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Carla began her career in the Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office providing crisis intervention and counseling to child and adult victims of sexual assault as well as other violent crime. She then became one of five people to help establish the Victims Services program at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, whereby providing assistance to child and adult victims statewide. Carla returned to the Solicitor’s Office in 1999 as Director of the Juvenile Court Alternatives Program developing initiatives that allowed sanctions for non-violent juvenile offenders in lieu of entering the juvenile justice system. She later joined the training team at the State Office of Victims Assistance in the Governor’s Office. In this role, Carla provided victim services training to victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and judiciary.

Carla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science degree in the Administration of Justice and Security, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in Strategic Leadership. Carla has worked as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities and most recently served as Dean of Academic Affairs at a technical college.

Carla is passionate about serving the community as well as educating and training others. Her life’s work has allowed her to serve not only those in crises but those who are underserved as well. Carla feels privileged to have had the honor of impacting generations.

Tuesday Duckett, MA

Lead Medicaid Trainer

Contact
Benson 204D
(803) 777-0761
DUCKETT4@mailbox.sc.edu

As a lead Medicaid trainer, Tuesday delivers ongoing face-to-face training to the newly hired Medicaid eligibility workers and supervisors at SCDHHS.

Her team provides newly hired Medicaid employees and staff with the foundation of the Medicaid Program and the knowledge and skill that they would need to serve the citizens of South Carolina.

Tuesday has worked with the Medicaid Program for many years and has worked in the various program areas. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership.

Tuesday does what she does because knowledge is a powerful tool and to share it is wonderful.

Marvita Franklin

Project Manager – Leadership & Talent Development

Contact
Benson 129D
(803) 777-8146
MARVITA@mailbox.sc.edu

As Project Manager for Leadership & Talent Development, Marvita is responsible for coordinating leadership development initiatives for internal and external clients and facilitates the implementation of project management strategies across organizational departments.

The Leadership Department partners with external organizations to assess training needs, identify core competencies, develop curriculum and provide training for emerging and seasoned leaders.

Marvita has a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Clemson University. She is a twenty year Air Force veteran with over twenty-five years of experience facilitating leader development for improved performance. She is a certified Master Resiliency Trainer and provides leadership training for nonprofit organizations and churches.

Marvita’s motivation for equipping leaders is grounded in helping others reveal and deploy the talent they already possess.

Shena Brown-Gamble, BSW, MA, CI

Child Welfare Trainer

Contact
Benson 137B
(803) 777-8418
GAMBLESD@mailbox.sc.edu



Shena Gamble is a Child Welfare trainer at the Center for Child and Family Studies. She uses her practical experiences from the field to encourage Child Welfare Practitioners to think outside of the box in efforts to preserve families and ensure the safety of children. She delivers training statewide on topics such as Signs of Safety, behavioral objectives, family engagement, and conducting assessments. She is a subject matter expert for the development of curricula which focuses on improving practice and enhancing skills in the area of child welfare.

Shena has more than twenty years of experience in child welfare and adult advocacy. Her prior employment includes Orangeburg County Council on Aging (OCCOA) and South Carolina Department of Social Services. During her tenure at SCDSS, she traveled throughout the state as an Intensive Foster Care and Clinical Services Performance Coach educating child welfare staff, county leadership, and foster parents working with youth in foster care who have mental health diagnoses and behavioral challenges.

Shena’s holds a Master of Arts in Counseling (Emphasis on Family Counseling) and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Webster University in Columbia, South Carolina. She has a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from South Carolina State University from Orangeburg, South Carolina. Shena is also a Certified Investigator for the State of South Carolina, specialized in Domestic and International Home Evaluation.

Shena believes that to be effective in life one must be passionate, have integrity, determination, and commitment to get the job done in a positive manner for all people involved.

Ebony Ligon

Instructor and Training Coordinator

Contact
Benson 206A
(803) 777-1230
LIGONE@mailbox.sc.edu

Ebony is a trainer with CCFS for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Her team is currently working with DHHS to facilitate their Medicaid 101 training. In the future, we will also assist them with Training for their MAGI track (MAGI: Modified Adjusted Gross Income).

Prior to working at USC, Ebony worked for the Department of Health and Human Services for their Specialty Unit, where she assisted with developing the training manual and materials for the Adoption Medicaid Program.

Ebony has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Mass Communications from Lander University.

Ebony says, “’Always be growing,’ whether it’s intellectually, spiritually or other areas of life, I believe there is always something new to learn. I also believe that when we learn it, we apply to different areas of our lives that allow us to continue to grow as an individual. I am motivated by this because I tend to approach things with a student mentality so I am open to experiencing change or learning something new that will help me to be the best I can possibly be.”

Rita Martin, MSW

Instructor and Training Coordinator

Contact
Benson 137A
(803) 777-8882
MARTINR8@mailbox.sc.edu

Rita supervises the child welfare training team at the Center for Child and Family Studies and collaborates with SC Department of Social Services for the development and delivery of training to child welfare practitioners, supervisors, and leadership staff. The child welfare training team delivers basic training as well as advanced training to new and existing practitioners utilizing varying training modalities. The training emphasizes critical thinking, family engagement, interviewing skills, and recognizing/ responding to child abuse and neglect.

Rita is dedicated to the human services field, specifically child welfare. She obtained her Master’s of Social Work from the University of South Carolina and has more than fifteen years of practice working with vulnerable populations. Prior to joining the Center, Rita was a Training Coordinator/ Instructor at SC Department of Social Services. She has extensive experience in child protective services intake, investigation, and treatment (family preservation).

Rita has also served as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands and provided individual and group counseling. In addition, she provided social work services, which included student intervention, pregnancy prevention groups, and individual/ group counseling, at Sumter School District Two.

Rita seeks to utilize her voice and passion to motivate and instill a sense of responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves, our children; one person can make a difference that causes a domino effect.

Kendra Pickett

Instructor and Training Coordinator

Contact
Benson 205A
(803) 777-9407
PICKETTK@mailbox.sc.edu

Kendra is a trainer and coordinator for the Medicaid Training team at CCFS.

Her team is currently contracted through the Department of Health and Human Services to administer the Medicaid 101 training for all new employees. Later, the team will be responsible for providing the training for the MAGI Tracks (Modify Adjusted Gross Income). Her team works closely together to provide the content in the most interesting and effective way possible.

Before coming to work for the Center for Child and Family Studies, Kendra was employed with the Department of Health and Human Services for nine years as an eligibility worker in the Fairfield County office.

Kendra says, “I’m striving to always give more than what’s expected of me as a trainer.”

Beatrice Pringle

Medicaid Eligibility Training Assistant

Contact
(803) 777-1518
PRINGLE3@mailbox.sc.edu

As a Training Assistant, Beatrice provides administrative assistance to the Medicaid Eligibility trainers. She is responsible for all training preparation such as registration, printing of training materials, completing and distributing a monthly report, purchasing and traveling.

Beatrice received an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science/Word Processing at Midlands Technical College. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the administrative field. During her career, she was promoted into a supervisory position where she supervised the four administrative support positions in her division. Having held positions in healthcare, economic services and education, Beatrice is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of various clients.

Beatrice was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina and is the youngest of nine children. In her spare time, she likes going to the movies, dining, and traveling.

Lenora Reese

Senior Program Manager, Training and Leadership Development

Contact
Benson 129E
(803) 777-9264
REESELB@mailbox.sc.edu

Lenora Bush Reese is the Senior Manager for Training and Leadership Development. In that role, she provides strategic management support to the CCFS training teams by ensuring the tools and techniques used in the training program are aligned with industry best practice standards, produce measurable outcomes, and meet the needs of the workforce. She and her team work with community partners to analyze workforce training needs, determine the format for delivery, execute delivery, and assess effectiveness. She and her team use a variety of methods to deliver high quality classroom learning experiences, interactive on-line learning, conferences, and workshops.

Lenora graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Columbia College. She possesses a broad array of professional and volunteer leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. Her leadership values are rooted in community organizing principles. Those values acknowledge the leadership potential in every person; the power and responsibility every person has to exact change; and the importance of leading through connections. She employs these values daily in her work developing new leaders.

Fax One

Benson 1st Floor

Contact
(803) 576-6136

Fax Two

Benson 1st Floor

Contact
(803) 777-9409